Anyone can learn to ship code. But can UX folks, too? When I joined Shopify back in 2015, I was told I should learn how to ship my own content changes. Yikes. What? Didn’t they know I was on the content team? I had no place in the land of code and shipping things. And, frankly, nor did I want one.
Back then, we didn’t have a formal way to learn how to deploy our own changes. Instead, a friendly tech writer sat down with me and started drawing pictures of trees and branches, and telling me to “pull up…
Addresses are old. Like really old. The first documented use of a postal service dates to 2400 BC, when Egyptian runners delivered documents carved in stone. But, as you would expect, addresses have evolved and diverged since then, based on cultural variations.
And although these differences have existed since the early days of the Internet, they weren’t really an issue in a world where an American customer went online to purchase a book from an American publisher, to be delivered to their American house.
But in an ever-globalizing world, we need to design address forms for a Dutch-speaking customer buying…
When I moved to Ottawa in the winter of 2010, I couldn’t get over how much people loved it. I mean really loved it.
I kept thinking I was missing something. Maybe there was a quaint part of the city I hadn’t discovered. Or a tiny village on the outskirts of town where all of the artsy folks congregated. But I wasn’t missing anything. I friggin’ scoured that city high and low for nearly a decade looking for their beloved Ottawa, but I never found it.
Then, one day, in my quiet southwestern Ontario home, it hit me. Like a…
At Shopify, we’re always looking for ways to 10x ourselves and our teams so we can have the greatest impact on our product. The idea behind 10x is that the impact you have in 1 year at Shopify is equivalent to 10 years somewhere else. We continue to 10x the product content team by teaching the rest of the company how to write thoughtful product content. Recently, we discovered that content clinics are a great way to do just that.
We all know from people like Brené Brown that we should embrace vulnerability, but how does it actually make our products better?
When I’m feeling vulnerable or overwhelmed, I tend to withdraw and take a step back. It’s my way of keeping an uncomfortable situation at arms length and preventing people from realizing that I don’t have all the answers. But this doesn’t help anyone. And it definitely doesn’t help the thing I’m working on get any better.
Here are a few ways that I’ve learned to embrace vulnerability to improve my own wellbeing and the health of my projects:
What do you do when you’re faced with an information architecture (IA) project that feels way over your head? Last year I was faced with this problem when my team was given the task of improving Shopify reports for over 250,000 merchants. We had reports spanning several categories: from payments and taxes to conversion and traffic, and each could be filtered in multiple ways.
The good news? Having come out the other side (after shipping our finance reports…
Within the first week of starting as a Content Strategist at Shopify, a SaaS product company, I was already asking if I could open my trusty spreadsheet and take a lap through the product.
Before I started, I had a sense that things might be different this time around. I knew product content was not exactly the same as traditional web content. But how different? Different enough to require an entirely new review method? An entirely new spreadsheet?!
The answers to those questions: yes and yes. As for how it’s different, here are a few things I’ve learned:
As the second content strategist to join Shopify, I quickly realized (having come from a background in library sciences, information architecture, and UX) that I needed to immerse myself in the field of content strategy. I wanted to know what the heck people in this field were up to, what product content conversations were happening, and how I could make connections with people doing similar work at their organizations.
The solution? CONFAB CENTRAL.
My colleague Alaine Mackenzie, our Content Strategy Lead, raved about Confab and told me I MUST go. I was excited by how excited she was about Confab…